By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA: The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has urged the electoral constituencies with multiple candidates to reconsider while there is still time.
HRPP met last Friday and confirmed 120 election candidates for next year’s general election and Tuilaepa said the final number will be confirmed 20 October, three days before the close of nominations with the Electoral Office. The number includes 11 women candidates.
Tuilaepa said the party needs to look at a winning strategy as splitting votes among multiple HRPP candidates will see one opposition party candidate coming through.
“My advice is for the candidates to talk it over and see who has the potential to come through,” he told the candidates.
In several constituencies such as Lefaga and Faleaseela, there are five HRPP candidates against one FAST Party candidate.
Tuilaepa said the race to join HRPP happens every election year and differences within some constituencies result in villages putting up a candidate each rather than agreeing to decision reached by the whole constituency.
He emphasized the importance of winning seats to ensure the party remains in power.
The registration of candidates is into the second day in Savaii and the registration of Upolu candidates will be opened this Friday and nominations close 23 October.
The official list of candidates will be announced on midday 23 October and candidates have five days to challenge a decision of the Electoral Commissioner to accept or reject any candidate.